Batavia is called “The Windmill City” for having been the world’s leading windmill manufacturer during the Industrial Revolution. This long and rich history is captured in the architecture that features gothic and Victorian styles, as well as old farmhouses, ranch-style houses and modern condos.
Located along the Fox River, locals are treated to excellent fishing and boating experiences. The Batavia Parks District also has over 40 parks and facilities for outdoor fun. As part of the tri-cities area that includes St Charles and Geneva, as well as its proximity to Aurora, residents of Batavia are treated to countless options when it comes to nightlife, entertainment, shopping and dining experiences.
Batavia is a west Chicago suburb. It’s located in Kane County along the Fox River, 34 miles west of the Chicago Loop.
Towns surrounding Batavia include Geneva and St Charles to the north, West Chicago and Warrenville to the east, North Aurora to the south, and La Fox to the west.
In the 1830s the Fox River was discovered by settlers to be a valley rich in farmland, quarry stone, timber and water power.
The town was originally called “Head of Big Woods”. Judge Isaac Wilson changed the name to Batavia after his hometown in New York.
Batavia was a major site of the Black Hawk War. Abraham Lincoln was involved in the war as a citizen soldier, and Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis were Army officers.
In 1867, a sanitarium for women, the Batavia Institute, was created by Richard J Patterson. In the summer of 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of the assassinated president, was an involuntary patient there.
The Newton Wagon Company began taking advantages of Batavia’s natural riches in 1854 building Conestoga wagons, which pioneers rode west. Soon the wagon company was joined by three major windmill factories.
By 1890, the windmill factories, as well as the Newton Wagon Company, were so successful that Batavia was recognized as the world’s leading windmill manufacturing city. This brought on its nickname, “The Windmill City”.
After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Batavia was called on to help rebuild Chicago. In response, Batavia mined its quarries and shipped Niagara limestone to the city. After the fire many immigrants in Chicago lost their jobs and moved to Batavia to work in the quarries.
By the end of the 19th century the VanNortwick Paper Company, located in Batavia, was producing most of the paper used by the Chicago Tribune. As well, the Western Paper Bag Company was producing two to three million paper bags a day at the same time. This combined mass production lead to the depletion of the woods in the area at the time.
The 1900s saw more companies find success in Batavia with the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Railway adding a branch in the city in 1902. In 1936, the Campana Factory was constructed to make cosmetics, including Italian Balm, which was the nation’s best-selling hand lotion at the time.
The city of Batavia has institutional limits on its expansion, but has continued to grow over the years, reaching a population of 27,502 by 2008.
Batavia properties are located along the Fox River and amongst lush greenery. Shady tree-lined streets, large green lawns, and beautiful Batavia homes are a staple of the city.
The architecture of Batavia is wide and varied, reflecting various eras of its rich history. Batavia real estate includes everything from rustic 1850s farmhouses to modern 1990s townhouses, condos and duplexes.
Some Batavia property managers are: MultiMarket Real Estate Services, Companies Landmark Group, CWH Properties Management, Excel Property Management, and Stone Tower Properties.
Batavia single-family homes cost between $150,000 and 1.5 million. Batavia condos and townhouses are priced at $80,000 to over $500,000. Housing rentals average monthly rents of $1000 for a 2 bedroom and $1300 for a 3 bedroom. Search Batavia Real Estate.
Interstate 88, running east and west, is nearby, providing residents with easy access to downtown Chicago and the rest of the Chicagoland area. Routes 38 and 64 offer alternate routes.
Residents working in Chicago looking for public transportation will find full-service Metra Stations to the north in Geneva and to the south in Aurora.
The Metra Union Pacific/West Line provides service from Geneva to the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago. The route begins in Elburn and makes several stops at other Chicago suburbs on its way to the city.
The Metra BNSF Railway originates in Aurora and ends at Chicago Union Station. This Metra route also makes several stops along the way, including stops at Brookfield and Berwyn.
Pace Bus Route 802 services the greater tri-cities area with service between Aurora and St Charles. This route goes to the Geneva Metra Station, Aurora Transportation Center, North Aurora, and Charlestowne Mall.
Batavia is served by the Batavia Public Schools District 101. The school district, from the administration to the teachers, is dedicated to providing the best education for the children and young adults of Batavia. Additionally, the private schools of Batavia provide more top-notch educational options with smaller classes and challenging curriculums.
Alley 64 (212 W Main St, St Charles, IL, 630-513-6464) offers a large, open space with a diverse and eclectic crowd. All different types, ages 21 to 65, frequent Alley 64 for awesome drink specials, a vibrant atmosphere, and terrific service. They have free pool Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as an extensive beer list, great burgers and sandwiches.
Stockholm’s (306 W State St, Geneva, IL, 630-208-7070) features fine, handcrafted microbrews. Microbrews include Lorazz Wiess, a wheat ale that raspberries were added to in the brewing process to give it a distinct tart flavor. With the feel of an old tavern, a great selection of unique, fine beers, friendly service, and a large menu, Stockholm’s is one of the best microbrew pubs in the region.
Old Towne Pub (201 W State St, Geneva, IL, 630-232-7962) has a lively, vibrant atmosphere where the friendly staff greets you and provides excellent service. The Old Towne Pub has three levels: a top floor for events and parties; the main floor with the bar and tables; and the basement level with pool tables, darts, video games, and pinball.
Funway Ultimate Entertainment Center (1335 S River St, 630-879-8717) offers ultimate family fun and entertainment for all ages. All types of entertainment are wrapped up into this one Funway. Bowling, roller skating, an arcade, Mini-Indy Kart Racing, bumper boats, miniature golf, batting and soccer cages, and even more are all available at Funway.
Zanies Comedy Club (4051 E Main St, 630-584-6342) has been cracking up residents of the west Chicago suburbs for 21 years now. Acts at Zanies Comedy Club have included David Brenner, Gilbert Gottfried, Louie Anderson, and Heather McDonald.
The Albright Theater Company (100 N Island Ave, 630-406-8838) is Batavia’s local theatre group. The Albright Theater Company has been entertaining locals for over 30 years with quality dramatic acts produced in an intimate, comfortable setting. Past productions have included The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Philadelphia Story, Misery, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Outsiders.
Excellent shopping experiences can be found at Charlestowne Mall (RR 64, St Charles, IL, 630-513-1120). This one-stop shopping center has all your favorite stores, including CJ Banks, Von Maur, Bath & Body Works, American Eagle Outfitters, and more. Charlestowne Mall also has extensive dining options and Classic Cinemas to catch all the latest blockbusters.
Swordfish (207 N Randall Rd, 630-406-6463) delivers on its promise of a lively ambiance and fresh, delicious sushi, steak and seafood. Executive Chef, Shu Kim, has 23 years of experience guaranteeing an evening of fine-dining. Cuisine is prepared delicately and artfully. Swordfish also offers an unbeatable deal with an All You Can Eat Buffet featuring much of the menu for just $35 the last Wednesday of the month.
Bien Trucha (410 W State St, Geneva, IL, 630-232-2665) presents colorful, beautifully prepared Mexican dishes in a cozy and urban environment. Bien Trucha takes its inspiration from Mexico City and their menu offers botanas, tortas, sopas, tacos and more.
Tusk Thai Restaurant (102 N River St, 630-406-6995) is a dining experience filled with exotic dishes prepared by chefs well-known for their creative combinations of spices and sauces. Tusk Thai boasts a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy favorite dishes like pad Thai, basil chicken, satay and peanut sauce, curry, and more.
The Turf Room (650 Randall Crossings Ln, North Aurora, IL, 630-906-9300) has three dining rooms, each with their own unique design and ambiance. The main lounge is perfect for casual gatherings, has a full bar, a sunken lounge and fireplace, an open brick oven and flat screen TVs. The main dining room has a warm, rustic feel with stone walls, tiled floors and dark woods. The wine bar has wood-slatted walls, a full bar, white tablecloths and warm lighting. All rooms have a horse and stable theme, all presented with taste and elegance. The Turf Room is well-known for their Kobe Beef burgers, steaks and chops.
Apple Villa (1961 W Wilson St, 630-406-8022) is a great spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch and is known for their superb customer service. The 2.5 pound Baked Apple Pancake is a big hit, as well as their fluffy omelettes, sizzling skillets, crepes and blintzes.
The Windmill City Festival is two and a half days of countless family-oriented activities and fun. There’s an ice cream eating contest, concerts, and a hilarious pet parade. Attendees will get the chance to compete in the Windmill Whirl 5K Run, as well as 4 on 4 football tournaments. On top of all that, the Windmill City Festival has paddle boat rentals, plenty of food booths, a farmer’s market, a crafts show, a beer garden, and tons of other fun stuff to see and do. And admission is completely free.
The Batavia Annual Autumn Arts & Crafts Show is sponsored by the Batavia Mother’s Club Foundation and occurs each October. Admission is just $3 and the show features over 100 artisans showcasing their handmade art, fused glassworks, photography, knit items, floral pieces, and more. At the Autumn Arts & Crafts Show you’ll also be treated to one of the largest bake sales in the region ready to supply you with lots of different tasty treats. There’s also a raffle and a limited-seating breakfast to take part in.
Residents of Batavia homes do love their art, and the Art in Your Eye Fine Art Show & Festival gives them another opportunity to peruse fine art along Batavia’s Riverwalk. The Art Show features over 70 award-winning artists from around the country, as well as a juried exhibit featuring the work of local artists. There are also children’s activities, live music, artist demonstrations, and gourmet foods to enjoy.
Batavia Parks District boasts over 40 parks, facilities, trails and beaches. Outdoor activities abound like fishing, boating, soccer, baseball or tennis. You’ll also discover plenty of picnic areas, hiking and biking terrain, playgrounds, skate parks and swimming facilities.